May 11 - The Apostles Jason and Sosipater, and the Virgin Martyr Kerkyra

"Their fiery preaching turned the seemingly coarse souls of the criminals to the light of faith in Christ."

The Apostles Jason and Sosipater, the Virgin Martyr Kerkyra, and others who suffered with them

Among the Apostle Paul's disciples were others who were also apostles, and the first of these were Saints Jason and Sosipater. Jason was the first Christian in his native town of Tarsus, and Sosipater was born in Achaia.

The Apostle Paul greatly loved these saints for their devoted faith in the Lord, and even began to call them his kinsmen. He ordained them both as bishops.

Jason became the archpastor of his own city of Tarsus, and Sosipater led the see of Iconium. They followed the holy apostles, preaching the gospel in the west.

Near Greece, on the island of Kerkyra (Corfu), they founded a church in honor of Stephen the Protomartyr, and began to convert the people to Christianity. But as soon as the local governor learned about the Christians, he imprisoned both Jason and Sosipater.

They were not alone in the prison. They had to share the cell with seven violent brigands. But the apostles did not lose courage, and their fiery preaching turned the seemingly coarse souls of the criminals to the light of faith in Christ. The robbers were not afraid to accept the terrible death of martyrdom, in repentance of their sins, so that they would be redeemed.

No matter how much they tortured the holy apostles, they could not make them deny the Lord. When the local governor's daughter, the virgin Kerkyra, learned of the martyrs suffering for Christ, she also bravely confessed 
herself to be a Christian.

Her furious father tried to dissuade her from her faith in Christ, but the saint firmly replied "No" to all of his arguments and threats. Then the governor threw his daughter into the prison, into a solitary cell, and he sent the robber and murderer Murinus to defile her.

But the Lord did not allow this to happen, and Kerkyra enlightened the robber with the light of faith in Christ. Murinus also declared himself to be a Christian before the governor, and was immediately sentenced to death.

The embittered father ordered his daugther's cell to be burned, but Saint Kerkyra still remained alive. Then the governor condemned his daughter to certain death.

After his daughter's execution, the governor became completely insane, and he ordered every Christian on the island to be slain. And all the people that Saints Jason and Sosipater had converted were burned to death.

After an unsuccessful attempt at their execution, the holy apostles, distinguished by their miracles, were set free by the next governor, who believed in the Lord of Jason and Sosipater.

They baptized the new governor with the name of Sebastian, and began bringing order to the church of Christ on Kerykyra (Corfu). Living to a deep old age, they greatly increased the flock of Christ with their fervent preaching.

The eleventh of May is the feast day of Jason and Sosipater of the 70 Apostles, the Virgin Martyr Kerykyra, and the others who suffered with them.

MORE:Saints
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